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03 Dec 2015 at 8:25 pm #7916
Funny thing as I have been brooding on that numbers-coming-a-million-years-before-words thing and it’s really been bugging me. I just can’t hardly believe that’s true, so I’ve done some Googling and poking around (just gotta poke around, ya know?) and I haven’t had much luck getting any answers. So that’s a nice bit of serendipity you recommending that book because I was going to ask you for some leads. Also, the synthesis parallel is just very interesting as well. Fun thread!
GlassQuote04 Dec 2015 at 9:52 am #7917
Rick, thanks for that anecdote and the mention of Marshack’s work. I’ve ordered it since it isn’t available for download on Kindle.
Candy, your three posts seem a bit much in response to my few sentences. But perhaps I am reading the unwarranted hauteur in your posts the way you seem to have misread an arrogance in mine. I never cast any aspersions on you, on Ken, nor indeed on Cormac McCarthy. I am sorry that you take it that way.
Here’s Douglas Hofstadter, from his book SURFACES AND ESSENCES: ANAOLGY AS THE FUEL AND FIRE OF THINKING:
“As we will show, these mental [analogies] cover a spectrum running from the humblest recognition of an object to the grandest contributions of the human mind. Thus analogy-making, far from being merely an occasional mental sport, is the very lifeblood of cognition, permeating it at all levels, ranging all the way from mundane perceptions to subtle artistic insights and abstract scientific discoveries.”
I’m not claiming that Hofstadter discovered this; I’m only saying that he makes the most convincing argument for it that I have yet read. Indeed, this may have been known by the ancients. Robert Calasso’s KA and his other paraphrasing of the Sanskrit classics begin with a series of such analogies.
It is a natural step to link these analogies to mathematical equations and to computer languages and to algorithms and several authors of scientific works have done so. I’m not trying to rile anyone here, for Christ’s sake.
Richard L.Quote11 Dec 2015 at 8:43 pm #7937
Oh, my, Candy, what did Richard write?!
Anyway, I think the “Maria Barbara Bach” = “95” bit is the first explicit reference McCarthy ever made to gematria, and that is significant. It might seem as if McCarthy made allusions to gematria before now, but I believe all those intimations were really made by some of us in this forum going back to more than a decade ago, not by anything McCarthy actually wrote or said. And I was not the one who initiated the discussion on McCarthy and gematria; I merely participated in one already in progress. Candy, were you the one who brought it up first, or do you remember who?
The doodle I sketched for you, I uploaded a version of it years later somewhere in this forum I don’t remember where. The pentagram which I use as my forum ID is the basis of the image. The first five novels form a pentalogy, and the pentagram explains the relationships with the elements.
I included the “117” calculation bit from BM because you mentioned you were writing up a new “117” theory in your upcoming thesis paper. So, here’s a “117” that involves gematria and the pentalogy:
Bach might have used the gematria popular in his day, but I believe McCarthy uses mainly the English “simple” (as opposed to just “English”) gematria. (The difference is “simple” is a=1 … z=26, and “English” is merely “simple” times 6.) The value of the titles of the first 5 novels is 585 = 5 x 117.
KenQuote12 Dec 2015 at 1:43 pm #7938
Re: “…but I believe all those intimations were really made by some of us in this forum going back to more than a decade ago, not by anything McCarthy actually wrote or said. And I was not the one who initiated the discussion on McCarthy and gematria; I merely participated in one already in progress. Candy, were you the one who brought it up first, or do you remember who?”
Heck, I posted a great deal on various facets of synchronicity and numerology in McCarthy over the years, so I may have been the one. Page numbers, times, and eggs. Of course I took a lot of stands I have since abandoned. I hold just as many far out theories about the unprovable, just different ones now. As you say–fun stuff.
Richard L.Quote14 Dec 2015 at 9:10 am #7939
Ah this is interesting…
And some of the above comments touch on what is amazing, and what is valuable about these discussions…and what is really at the root of discussion boards like this one.
Not necessarily in that order, heh heh.
By sharing that you have proposed ideas and abandoned ideas shows you have experienced some learning here Richard…and thats really cool of you t share because we live in a society where learning after the age of 25 is a sign of weakness. It’s not true that learning is weakness, but in a competitive environment learning is a sign of weakness by an older industrial paradigm.
I’m going to respond to your questions in a few minutes….and your choice of language and words…but first I want to give an example of the kind of gulfs of communication that are happening here at this forum for twenty odd years and most apparent in our political or social “real world.”
Using cultural stress as a metaphor….
So in Chicago there is just a terrible crisis right now. The crisis does relate to the whole country…and in many ways that is why the story has received so much coverage nationally, and for international in a slightly different interest but it is international too.
Here is an article asking whether or not Mayor Emanuel even understands his city and the culural knowledge and class issues. The writer asks “is Emanuel cynical or doesn’t know Chicago”
And I think it’s so easy to answer that question…because the short answer is he can’t know it…until he goes through a certain series of experiences and self-knowledge.
Social inequality isn’t just about money or class…because there can be developed a sort of persona that induces a sense of “arriving” of “acquiring knowledge”…and therefore being protected or already “in-the-know” by assuming that once we are 25 or so….and gone to college, or worked in the real world…somehow as adults we know what is going on with the world. It’s a sort of self-assumption about ones knowledge. We teach people to not show signs of vulnerability or “weakness”.
What is privilege?
It sounds to me that there is also a “shock”, (like Emanuels to the unbalance of power in the United States between races (this is a U.S. nationwide problem, not Chicago’s) in the young people, in the left wing, in the %99. People really do not know what’s going on with each other. Let me address Emanuel’s statement first…part of what defines “privilege” is the aura of not knowing what other people are going though. One, you have the parameters of what makes someone grow up privileged. The author of the news article suggests ballet class for white kids keeps them privileged. It’s possible. Just owning books and having people make one’s lunch as a child…defines privilege. Having lunch made….a seemingly average mundane event is many families….is a factor in figuring out what makes one family privileged and another family not-priviledged. Most “privileged” population have no idea that privilege has to do with hmemade lunches and books or magazines in the house. The prosaic aspects of life that create a privileged bubble of compassion or knowledge….are usually quite surprising to people who participate in sensitivity or activist workshops for the first time…nevermind someone who hasn’t participated in such a work shop.
So…to make a long story short…what creates a privileged part of society is mostly something that happens when a person is a small child. Simple details of daily life…when someone is a small child. So until someone pulls back the layers of childhood memories…delves into their childhood and thinks about how it might compare with other people and their childhoods…they really don’t know.
Now…let’s take another view…the people who are so-called outside the privileged society. Their childhoods look somewhat different. When these two groups get into a room together and participate in exercises designed to reveal the differences of their childhoods…it’s quite amazing. It’s like two different worlds. It’s as if they couldn’t possibly live in the same city or area….but these are tiny details when you look at them one at a time. “latch key kids” no lunch kids, kids who take ballet, kids who don’t have books in their houses…
Now, if childhood is left in the hands of adults…which it is…what happens good or bad is the responsibility of a childs caregivers. So the population that falls into the “not privileged” group…and having participated in such a workshop that facilitates learning about “privilege….I am not privileged. I had two details in common with the privileged population (one was that I grew up in a house with books)….but being from the not privileged group of our society….puts a new lesson on me. How do I reconcile that the privileged group developed privileges in early childhood…with something that was utterly out of their control or choices or philosophy? Privileged people don’t even know they are privileged and they don’t have any idea that they are different than the rest of us.So what happens? I believe we need to have a culture of forgiveness, a culture that helps assimilate and educate privileged people….and helps them recover from the shame of learning that they are privileged. I have experienced many people have terrible painful shame….and that is called compassion and enlightenment in my world. The shame is a stage or phase in recovery and self-learning. How do we learn to negotiate these different childhoods?
14 Dec 2015 at 9:59 am #7940
Richard said, “The parallel is that of artistic synthesis. I don’t for a minute think that these artists painstakingly thought out these numbers and analogies; rather, their brains do it for them unconsciously. Synthesis.
Scientists say that Janet Evancho could sing like an angel when she was very young not because her voice-box was somehow enhanced or substantially different from other little girls, but because her brain unconsciously made the transactions (analogies} to make such music possible. Her voice wasn’t different, just her brain.
I don’t think that Cormac McCarthy himself is on the cutting edge of those understanding this, but he rubs shoulders with those that are, the scientists at the Santa Fe Institute investigating the way order arises from chaos. I think they’ll find that Kurt Godel–and Douglas Hofstadter after him–were right on a number of things.”
To answer Ken, and to articulate to Richard, the above is what I take issue with. Because I don’t think you are understanding the history of poetry or art Richard, doesn’t mean my contestation of your posts is unwarranted. (we’ll get to “hauteur” later)
I think my contestation of your perspectives and opinions is totally warranted…maybe perhaps even life-affirming! (uh oh there’s my hauteur showing!)
I think you, Richard, are absolutely correct when you say that Janet Evancho’s brain was the part that happened for her voice. Yes, nature has this structure and sometimes children are naturally reflecting the structure and function of nature. That’s so true. (and sometimes their parents encourage such organic freedom)
I think you are at best, sweetly naive, and at worse…dismissive…when you say this “I don’t think that Cormac McCarthy himself is on the cutting edge of those understanding this”
There are two things that are going awry in that stemming. And yes…I am going to contest and set you straight…and in order for you to learn, you need to be vulnerable and empty…so I am going to set you (and other readers here LOL) on a more interesting line of inquiry….and it’s up to you to see if you can be one-minded and laugh at the universe and yourself….when you find out there really is a whole other world out there that has existed without my knowledge”
If you think that makes me arrogant…well I can live with that.
So let’s look at this:
“I don’t think that Cormac McCarthy himself is on the cutting edge of those understanding this”
“cutting edge”. Part of the block to see a tradition is to think there is such a thing as “cutting edge”. There is no cutting edge anywhere. There are people and natural structures that open our limited awareness and we can learn from them. Hofstadter helped a lot of people look at art in the way that art has always been looked at by shaman and goddesses.
But Hofstadter had to figure out the eternal golden brain. Keyword “eternal”…it’s not a discovery. It’s not cutting edge…it’s the opposite. It’s ancient.
There really is a group of people who are not practicing in secret…but they are unknown if someone doesn’t learn about them. They practice the eternal gold braid so-to-speak. They aren’t doing it by accident. It’s usually an initiation process…like a doctor. Did you know doctors go through an initial process? Most trades and practices do…not to be elite…to be proficient. Not to be secret…not to be assholes…not to be arrogant or hauteur (oh wait I said I would get to that later…it’s not time yet)
They do a set of initiation behaviors in order to let someone learn. Learning itself is a ritual of intimations and “paying one’s dues” and learning by rote may not be very sexy but it’s an incredible format for initiation. Plumbers are initiated into the dark arts of pipe and water manipulations. It’s not a cult or secret….some people just don’t know there is a ritualistic pattern of behaviors in most practices. There is hidden knowledge yes….because these practices take tome. You can’t read about them in a book. Even Hofstadter knows that. It’s an eternal golden braid. Duh.
so “cutting edge” is asking the wrong questions.
“those understanding this” are not scientists. “those understanding this” are the artists, poets and musicians who have stumbled upon tradition. Or have met someone, a professor, an auntie, the game go, a member of a congregation, or a teacher, or a friend, who have taught them about the tradition of the eternal golden braid…through initiation, practice, study, Frances Yates, time, conversations, web boards, dance, weaving, lacrosse.
Of course…it’s also entirely possible to remain intellectual and removed…and take a class in painting, or go…and not learn the eternal golden braid….because learning these practices take….time. They take initiation of a friendly unconscious type…with a mentor, with a friend, with practice. It’s not secret. It’s time based…
And one of the reason you, and you’re not a,lone…lots of people don’t know about folk traditions…is because we live in an industrialized competitive economy. There are people who want to keep this information away from others in order to make money on it…in order to make money from education, the arts, music…so having art be on tany kind of stature as medicine, or math, or law….is a built in dismissive “fun-stuff” kind of attitude. “Oh painting is so fun” “music feels so good and I love it” “poetry is so romantic”
Thats all okay…and art and music and poetry are all of those things, and the way they exist and function is through entertainment. The meditative sensation of making music, or dance or art…helps the audience have an transcedental experience….if the audience is open-minded or happens to like the genre.
It’s not secret…it’s not mysterious…it’s real world. And our culture has produced members who say things like “I don’t think that Cormac McCarthy himself is on the cutting edge of those understanding this”
And Richard…it’s not your fault. The fault lies in economical power structures.
Once someone learns that poetry and music and art are actually the source of and record of science….you see it everywhere.
It’s not mysterious. The audiences in Shakespeare’s theater….knew exactly what he was talking about because they grew up practicing the entertainment structure codes with him.
So if we called poetry, music and art “entertainment mathematical code machines” then maybe the average American living in Ohio would be just like the audience in the Globe Theatre. See..it’s called the “Globe Theater” on purpose. Because it’s fucking science.
Richard said, “The parallel is that of artistic synthesis. I don’t for a minute think that these artists painstakingly thought out these numbers and analogies”
Right, and that’s your block right there. You are not in learning mode or open-minded or vulnerable.
Because in fact, “these artists” do know exactly what they are doing. They were taught, it has been passed down generation to generation…and it has become fragmented and lost to the average person ….lost to people who are not practicing or involved with people practicing. It’s not a secret thing…it’s a thing that is more like alienation. The reasons for the alienation are argued about by political theorists and religious theorists…
I believe it’s partly been programmed into us that art is “fun” music is “fun. Without realizing and nurturing that the fun part is what keeps us interested in finding out the laws of the universe. People generally think music and art is all about technique and the practice is somehow not on the same level as other trades.
Now…I’m gonna have a coffee…and wake up…and then I shall explore in the choice of “hautuer” you fancy pants…
14 Dec 2015 at 11:33 am #7943
So, about “hauteur”. I can live with sounding arrogant in order to contest ideas here at this forum.
I’m not worried about if someone likes me or not, or if I’m a good girl or a bad girl. I’m not worried about if I say something harshly or not…because I am using all the tools at my disposal in order to discuss the nature of reality. I am also very comfortable and confident that I am a kind compassionate person. I am also human and become impatient just like anyone else.
Using a variety of argumentative and literary styles here on an online bookclub is a ddevice I incorporate …because it keeps the writing alive. It aggravates the imagination. And I don’t feel bad about doing that occasionally…in order to stir up ideas or enhance listening and communication.
However…if guys at the forum argue…they argue. If a woman argues at the forum…we become hauteur. It even sounds feminine doesn’t it? Especially when used in the same sentence as a man defending himself against being “arrogant”.
Richard said, “Candy, your three posts seem a bit much in response to my few sentences. But perhaps I am reading the unwarranted hauteur in your posts the way you seem to have misread an arrogance in mine. I never cast any aspersions on you, on Ken, nor indeed on Cormac McCarthy. I am sorry that you take it that way.”
I don’t need or want an apology…you haven’t done anything wrong. You’ve posted your thoughts and you’ve shared ideas. And it’s fair game if some of us, or all of us disagree. It’s not personal …at least not most of the time (I leave room for the odd personality clashes that happen around here LOL)
I’m willing to risk sounding unpleasant in order to make my point. I’m willing to risk posting multiple back to back posts….I know it’s heavy-handed. I know it’s not entirely easy to read long multiple posts. But so what? It’s just how it happens sometimes. If it’s a hassle visitors can scroll past my posts. I don’t care either way.
I’m here to discuss the nature of reality.
The faint of heart can scroll past my posts. Or people who don’t like me or my opinions can scroll past my posts. I am not every bodys cup of tea.
I’m completely comfortable with that. And on days when discussing topics that I lose patience and sound or even actually might be “hauteur” I can take the risk. I am comfortable with that…I don’t see any reason for me to back down, or apologize or be meek.
Richard, you would never survive art school or writing workshops. Oh my god…we used to have to do these things called “critiques” oh…it’s crazy and many people would get so nervous and scared…and sometimes hearing from ones peers could be very painful. When it comes to going through classical ancient rituals of initiation in theatre, acting and art….well, lets just say I developed a bit of a rapport with argument and experimentation. It’s part of the job. You have to be able to take criticism and in the words of Colin Farrell in TRUE DETECTIVE “I welcome judgement”
And I can certainly get carried away…I’m very patient about this stuff. And Rick’s not the only one writing a book. I have been building up a body of chapters about this very topic of the history of poetry (storytelling, myth making and narratives.) I delivered the opening introduction in Memphis. I’m presenting the basis of a chapter in New Mexico in February. It’s called “GRIND: ANTIKYTHERA MECHANISM CONNECTIONS IN ‘THE COUNSELOR'”
I get worked up for sure. Especially when I see a choice of language that is dismissive. I’m not saying you intend to be dismissive…or anyone here.
And choice of language is too strong a term…I don’t believe most people are choosing their words. I think people have a comfort zone for knowledge and communication.
Here you and I had tow very different experiences of reading Hofstadter. You say you follow him. that’s cool. I read him as a young artist the first time when his book came out…and went okay good…someone is tapping into this stuff and writing about it. I actually thought when people read that book it would change consciousness in people.
The thing is…most people have a comfort zone…and no matter what practice, or idea, or innovation is written or discussed…people tend to fall back into their comfort zone. Especially in industrialized cultures.
If my points and posts seem a bit much to you Richard…their extremity is in response for a tone of dismissal…of an attitude I sense and read of thinking that artists, writers, and poets might just accident fall into writing about something that a scientist discovers. Your basic premise and comments are misunderstanding poetry and the folk traditions around the world that pre-date the books and writers of non-fiction you are raising in stature.
Those books are wonderful…they are figuring out some things that already exist in art. That wa part of the point in Douglas Hofstadters famous book.
Just turn to the back pages…I did to double check before I posted this right now. The codes of modern art. Just read that one section.
I’ll type it here if I have the time….
14 Dec 2015 at 11:54 am #7944
- This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by Candy Minx.
The “Code” of Modern Art
A large number of influences, which no one could hope to pin down completely, led to further explorations of the symbol-object dualism in art. There is no doubt that John Cage, with his interest in Zen, had a profound influence on art as well as on music. His friends Jasper Jhns and Robert Rauschenberg both explored the distinction between objects and symbols by using objects as symbols for themselves-or, to flip the coin, by using symbols as objects in themselves. All of this was perhaps intended to break down the notion that art is one step removed from reality-that art speaks in “code”, for which the viewer must act as interpreter. The idea was to eliminate the step of interpretation and let the naked object simply BE. period. (“Period-a curious case of use-mention blur.) However, if this was the intention, it was a monumental flop, and perhaps had to be.
“Any time an object is exhibited in a gallery or dubbed a “work”, it acquires an aura of deep inner significance=no matter how much the viewer has been warned NOT to look for meaning. In fact, there is a backfiring effect whereby the more that viewers are told not to look at those objects without mystification, the more mystified the viewers get. After all, if a wooden crate on a museum floor is just a wooden crate on a museum floor, then why doesn’t the janitor haul it out back and throw it in the garbage? Why is the name of an artist attached to it? Why did the artist want to demystify art? Why isn’t that dirt clod out front labeled with an artist’s name? Is this a hoax? Am I crazy, or are artists crazy? More and more questions flood into the viewers mind; he can’t help it. This is the “frame effect” which art-Art-automatically creates. There is no way to suppress the wonderings in the minds of the curious.
“Of course, if the purpose is to instill a Zen-like sense of the world as devoid of categories and meanings, then perhaps such an art is merely intended to serve-as does intellectualizing about Zen-as a catalyst to inspire the viewer to go out and become acquainted with the philosophy which rejects “inner meanings” and embraces the world as a whole. In this case, the art is self-defeating in the short run, since the viewers DO ponder about it’s meaning, but it achieves its aim with a few people in the long run, by introducing them to its sources. But in either case, it is not true that there is no code by which ideas are conveyed to the viewer. Actually, the code is a much more complex thing, involving statements about the absence of codes and so forth-that is, it is part code, part metaled, and so on. There is a Tangled Hierarchy of messages being transmitted by the most Zen-like art objects, which is perhaps why so many find modern art so inscrutable.”
14 Dec 2015 at 12:18 pm #7946
Okay…so my hauteur is not with you so much personally Richard…but with your comfort zone…
You mention Hofstadters book…yet the very meaning of the book…and it;s layers of investigating emergence…seems to have left you with a misunderstanding of the art of poetry and story and image making.
Of course I’m impatient with you. How can you drop Hofstatders name and then go on to say
“I don’t think that Cormac McCarthy himself is on the cutting edge of those understanding this, but he rubs shoulders with those that are, the scientists at the Santa Fe Institute investigating the way order arises from chaos. ”
There really is something misunderstood about the thesis of Hofstadters book….and the above statement.
There is a code we learn in poetry and art and myth Richard. But you don’t know this because you are not an artist or writer…also…it has been muddled through the misunderstanding (easily done as Hofstadter explains in regard to modern art) and to the lost public understanding of folk tales and folk narratives.
I wrote my paper and some of my investigation on the Aarne=Thompson classification index….it was amazing how many McCarthy scholars had never heard of it, or used it in their research!!!!
So Richard…unless you really focused and stayed out of a comport zone…how would you know that art and writing uses codes?
Theres no way unless someone like me tells you about it LOL
And in the wake of modernism, in the wake of anti-religion, of liberal left wing , in the wake of the dreaded “libertarianism” how could people know that Cormac McCarthy sin’t at the Santa Fe institute to learn about cutting edge science…he’s there to help the scientists learn about the codes in storytelling, mythology, art, poetry.
You’ve got it backwards…but you’re not alone…most of the contemporary industrial world has it backwards.
If you can read GODEL,ESCHE, BACH as you claim you follow his stuff…and still not comprehend what he was writing about….see how easy it is….to not be vulnerable and learn?
My hope is….that however I have to do this with you Richard, by drawing a picture, by sounding hauteur or actually being arrogant or by a sense of humour…or by being technically descriptive…I might help you be initiated into this layer history of codes. You are my favorite and most needy student….I’ve been spending twenty years trying to teach you this. Yes, I get impatient with you. I’ve tried everything I could to tease you away from your comfort zone…to get you to notice the huge swirling vortex out here in myths and myth-making.
And you stubborning dismiss…or put things into a category, or list off the books you’re writing…
Toss off your clothes and run into the forest, take peyote….tell everyone you love you’ve had the whole thing assbackwards!
And you are not alone…everything about this society is evidence that most people are just like you and I.
The only difference between you and I is I happened to get initiated as a kid, and so I learned early on that poetry is math…and practicing art and initiation patterns of myth-making….is math. And for some reason…you just don’t seem to notice that McCarthy might know more about this than Gell-Murray Mann. I don’t know why you are stubbornly like this…it’s kay. Most people are but here I am telling you that the universe told me to walk you through you this.LOL
I had no idea it was going to take so many years….so yeah, I get hauteur now and then.
14 Dec 2015 at 12:33 pm #7948
p.s. I’m a lot easier on you Richard than I was on a lot of other folks here. You know it’s interesting about the barriers to communication…and trying to share ideas that seem impossible to put into words.
The reason I posted the Emanuel story as a metaphor…is that communicating between groups of people with very different histories or educations or knowledge is it’s own kind of puzzle-solving. There is Emanuel publicly showing us the moment he learned the rabbit-hole that is “privilege”.
And the people who did not grow up privileged …are trying to teach privileged people how life feels when your whole world is like another dimension.
I was in a civil disobedience workshop in September…and we did some exercises that show us what the differences between privileged and non-privileged looks like. You can read about it here:
There is so much tied into one’s idea of who one is (Hofstadter talks about that too) and we need to step outside ourselves to see ourselves.
The exercise helps facilitate people seeing how we have or may have grown up.
And one of the things that is a very real experience here at the forum…is that there are often two or three different worlds at least, that people are writing from.
For example…did you know that some people call this forum “a sausage fest”?
It’s no one fault particularily….it seems to be the layers of readers combined with internet and novels content and just general way the industrial society we all live in functions.
By opening dialogue we might be able to find a way to have more inclusion…I don’t know. And we have talked about it on and off over the years…and it just doesn’t seem to change.
I mean now is not a very good example…seeing as participation is so low…very very few people posting. Very few people putting their voices out here. The gulf seems even bigger than it did in 1999.
How do we encourage a diversity of voices? How do we be vulnerable and learn that there are codes and worlds kept secret from us by a larger oppressive force? How do we have more books discussed here and more participants? How do we learn and how do we have discussions and express that we have learned something. Why do we see not-knowing something as a reason to be defensive? Why do people being contested about ideology or lifestyles or anything…as a reason to take umbrage?
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